Curt on why Eastern Europe hates Russia


“It was those early morning hours that we learned to dread.” The little Latvian woman trembled and tried to keep back the tears, but she continued to speak with quiet dignity. “That was when the secret police would knock on the door and take people away. Usually we never heard from them again. Sometimes we heard that they had been shot, and sometimes that they were still alive somewhere in Siberia, but we never knew. Whole families would be taken, separated, their houses would be occupied by the Soviet authorities. During the Russian occupation of the Baltic countries, almost half the populations of Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia were taken away. Sometimes the whole family would be sent to Siberian prison camps, but that was a death sentence too, usually within a year, from cold and starvation and overwork. Others were told to get out of their homes with just the possessions they could carry on their backs, they were told to migrate east, wherever they could find a place, but of course there weren’t any places, and they tried to live off the land, but mostly they just starved along the way, the aged and crippled first. But in the end there was no chance for any of them, and the Russian authorities knew it. I guess they wanted to get rid of all of us Latvians, and they didn’t care how.”

She paused, trying to keep her composure. “I wasn’t on their June 14 [1941] list, but I heard that I was on the next one. But in the meanwhile the Germans came, in the invasion of Russia. Naturally we ran to them as if they were saviors. But they were no better. Still, two from our family managed to get through to the West, my brother and I. As far as we know, all the rest died. We never heard from them again. I don’t know how they died, I do know there was a big purge. The best Latvian army officers, including one of my brothers, were ordered by the Russians to some ‘field maneuvers‘, and then they were all killed by the Russians, with bullets in the back of the head, and dumped into a mass grave.”

I thought of the student who had sat in that same chair in my office just a week before and told me that the Soviet way was the wave of the future, and that “the Czechs had it coming.” And of the professor who had broadcast a speech that evening saying that “the United States has become so bad that it must now be liberated by Soviet Russia.” I wondered how many mass graves for Americans he was planning as the price for American “liberation.”



See also The statement of a British sailor about Kozaks being “repatriated” by the UK and US forces during Operation Keelhaul.